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M&S food sales up 4% in Q4

first_imgIn its fourth-quarter trading update issued today (7 April), Marks & Spencer (M&S) has reported that food sales were up 4%, in contrast to its “unsatisfactory” clothing and home division.It was the first quarter under the management of recently-appointed chief executive Steve Rowe, who said he was “very proud and privileged to be leading M&S”.However, like for like (LFL) sales in its food division were flat (0.0% growth). In the statement, M&S said that its new store opening programme was performing “ahead of expectations”.Overall, group sales for the quarter were up 1.9%, while sales in its clothing and home division were down 1.9% (LFL -2.7%), and international sales were up 3.8%.Rowe said: “We had a mixed performance in the final quarter of the year. Our food business once again outperformed the market by c.3.5 percentage points. Although the sales decline in clothing and home was lower than last quarter, our performance remains unsatisfactory and there is still more we need to do.”The retailer’s share price rose more than 3% this morning, after the better-than-forecast set of fourth-quarter results.Last month, M&S started to offer pre-made mixes that you put in a mug and microwave, known as mug cakes.last_img read more

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ABF director retires

first_imgAssociated British Foods (ABF) has announced Peter Smith has stepped down as a non-executive director after nine years.Meanwhile, Richard Reid, formerly London chairman at audit, tax and advisory network KPMG, has been appointed a non-executive director, and has succeeded Smith as chairman of the audit committee.In a statement, ABF said: “The board would like to thank Peter Smith for the significant contribution he has made during his tenure, well beyond his leadership of the audit committee.”last_img read more

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J&I Smith Bakers shortlisted for Scotch Pie Awards 2017

first_imgAberdeenshire-based bakery J&I Smith Bakers has secured a place on the shortlist of the 18th World Scotch Pie Awards.The bakery put forward eight different products for the competition, but will have to wait until 11 January 2017 to find out which of its products has been nominated.A panel of 50 professional experts judged 500 entries from butchers and bakers into 11 categoriesJohn Smith Jnr, director of J&I Smith, told British Baker that he was very excited to be shortlisted for the competition.“We’re in the running for one of the awards, I’ve been trying to find out which product has been nominated, but they won’t tell you until the ceremony at the beginning of January, he said.“One of the products we entered was an apple pie and the other seven were savoury goods. I think it will depend on the judges on the day whether we will win something. I feel confident in my products, and if we win any award of any kind, it’s an achievement.”last_img read more

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Aldi becomes Britain’s fifth-largest supermarket after 12.4% sales growth

first_imgAldi has overtaken The Co-operative to become Britain’s fifth-largest supermarket chain.The discount retailer’s sales rose 12.4% year on year against an overall 1.7% increase in grocery market sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel grocery market share figures for the 12 weeks ending 29 January 2017. This saw Aldi’s share of the market increase by 0.6 percentage points to 6.2%.Just a decade ago, Aldi was the UK’s 10th-largest food retailer with a 2% share of the market, said Kantar Worldpanel retail and consumer insight head Fraser McKevitt.“Since then the grocer has grown rapidly. Underpinned by an extensive programme of store openings, the past quarter has seen Aldi attract 826,000 more shoppers than during the same period last year,” he said.Although overtaken by Aldi, Co-op grew ahead of the market at 2%, driven by a 7% increase in own-label sales.Of the major retailers, Asda was the only one to record a drop in sales, with a 1.9% decline, leading to a loss of 0.6 points in market share (see table below).Morrisons was the fastest-growing retailer, and saw sales rise 1.9% year on year. The retailer’s premium own-label performance was particularly strong, with its revamped The Best range making its way into 14% of Morrisons’ baskets.Retail prices have continued to rise since the start of the year, pointed out Kantar, with inflation in the cost of a basket of everyday groceries climbing to 0.7%.This followed a period of deflation from September 2014 to December 2016. Rising prices in markets such as butter, fish and tea have been offset by falling prices in categories including eggs, bacon and washing up products, said Kantar.Bakery businesses including Premier Foods and Finsbury Foods are among food manufacturers to have warned that rising commodity costs are putting pressure on retail prices.last_img read more

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Bako North Western names Mike Tully CEO

first_imgFormer Bako Northern & Scotland boss Mike Tully has been appointed chief executive of Bako North Western Group.Tully, who starts his new role this Friday (6 October), was chief executive officer at Bako Northern & Scotland for four years and previously spent seven years as general manager for sites across the BFP Wholesale business.He replaces Mark Tomlinson, who left Bako North Western Group (Bako NW) in June after eight years as CEO.Bako NW described Tully as having years of experience in the bakery wholesale sector and a “proven track record for success”.“The wealth of knowledge Mike brings to the Bako Northern Western Group will serve to further grow and enhance the business,” said Bako NW chairman Joe Hall. “We wish him every success in his new role and are looking forward to an exciting future with Mike at the helm.”Bako NW has grown in recent years with the acquisition of Bako South Eastern, Anglian Bakery & Catering Suppliers and Bako Northern & Scotland.last_img read more

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200 Degrees opens second coffee shop in Birmingham

first_imgSpeciality coffee roaster 200 Degrees has opened a second shop in Birmingham.The opening of the new store, which is situated on Lower Temple Street, follows the success of its coffee shop and barista school on Colmore Row in 2016.As well as speciality coffee roasted at 200 Degrees’ Nottingham HQ, the store will serve deli-style sandwiches, baguettes and a range of salads, soups, cakes and pastries, with vegan and gluten-free options available.“The decision to open a second coffee shop in Birmingham was an easy one for us. With the Colmore Row shop being so well received, we knew it was the right time to open another and its location near Birmingham New Street is ideal for everyone,” said Tom Vincent, co-founder and director.“Birmingham is only the second location in which we’ve opened a second coffee shop and I think that’s down to the fantastic support we’ve had from our customers and the wider business community in the city. We’re very excited to contribute further to the fantastic food and drink scene here.“We look forward to welcoming those who know us, as well as new faces, whether they’re looking to swipe a coffee, or stay a little longer and enjoy a brew and a bite to eat in a relaxed, comfortable setting.”The opening is the tenth for 200 Degrees since 2014, its most recent being in Liverpool’s Metquarter centre.last_img read more

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Simit sandwich bread launched JJ Foodservice

first_imgLondon-based JJ Foodservice has extended its bakery range with simit bread.Available for 99p for a pack of four on a limited basis, the bread can be used to add interest to traditional sandwich menus, said the company.The circular bread, found predominantly in Turkey and the Middle East, typically contains sesame seeds. Less commonly, it is made with poppy, flax or sunflower seeds.JJ Foodservice is backing the launch with a #SimitSmiles campaign that encourages consumers to share how they eat simit bread by posting images to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.“We want consumers to send us their favourite fillings to help celebrate simit. The new range is perfect for picnics and sharing occasions at home. In foodservice, they also add interest to café and sandwich shop menus,” said Sezer Ozkul, chief product officer for JJ Foodservice.JJ Foodservice has also rolled out a range of Turkish-style savoury pastries named boreks in cheese, potato and spinach & cheese variants.And the wholesale supplier has added baklava to its own-label range. The Turkish sweet dessert is made with chopped nuts and filo pastry, and is traditionally served with ice cream.All products are available frozen, can be oven-baked and are suitable warm or at room temperature.Interest in Middle Eastern-style breads has been growing in the UK, with Turkish bakery brand Simit Sarayi now operating 13 sites in London, for example.For more on Turkish pastries and how UK bakers could make more use of filo pastry, see the British Baker feature here.last_img read more

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Federation of Bakers: industry must adapt to new normal

first_imgSource: Federation of BakersGordon Polson, chief executive of the Federation of BakersThe baking industry can thrive in the post-pandemic market but will need to adapt to enduring consumer trends, according to Gordon Polson, chief executive of the Federation of Bakers.Polson insists he is optimistic about the future of the sector but acknowledges that Covid-19 will have a lasting effect, even once the virus is under control.“People still want to eat bread and it’s purchased by 98% of households but there are challenges,” he said.“I can think of one of my members who produces branded bread and also makes bread for a sandwich maker. The volume of the sandwich maker’s business is significantly down, maybe by 60%, while the branded element has increased.”This change in the balance of the market is likely to continue even once the Covid-19 vaccine begins to take effect and restrictions are lifted, he added.“If we’re honest, we probably don’t think that sandwich market will ever come back to the same level because of trends established during the pandemic, where people will be working from home more.“There won’t be so much of that out-of-home, food-on-the-go consumption but people will be consuming bread and bakery products in a different way than they did previously.”“People still want to eat bread and it’s purchased by 98% of households”Polson believes that the challenge for many companies is to “redirect some of the focus of the business” to account for market changes.This view is shared by Ross Hindle, analyst at business intelligence organisation Third Bridge, who recently commented that Greggs should develop more premium products to boost performance.Last week, the high street retail chain reported a drop in sales by £357m over the past year and warned that profits won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2022.“The big question for Greggs remains around the group’s ability to shift its consumer perception away from a purely value proposition and into one where they can charge a price reflective of its improved quality and product offering,” Hindle said.“Greggs’ value-targeted product offerings and local town store locations put it in a good position for continued growth and success in 2021,” he added.Robust marketPolson is confident that the market will remain robust, despite changing consumer behaviour.“Bread is a developed and mature market and I think we will continue to see a huge variety on the supermarket shelf,” he said.Data from Mintel reported in November adds weight to Polson’s argument, showing that the UK bread market was on track for 3.5% value growth and the highest volume of sales since 2015.“We’ll see an emphasis on the nutritional benefits of the bread in terms of protein, vitamins and fibre,” Polson predicted.“And we will continue to promote the benefits of wholemeal bread, always remembering that white bread actually contributes more fibre in the diet than wholemeal bread because of the large volumes of white bread that people buy.”last_img read more

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Cold Feet

first_imgA view of the Kennebec River at Skowhegan. (Elizabeth (Stu) Mehlin)The round growths on the goldenrod are galls. Inside each one is a tiny egg of a fly. If all goes well, the baby will be born this spring. (Elizabeth (Stu) Mehlin)Red berries covered in new snow. Weld. (Dennis York)Doe in Rangeley. (Dennis York)(Isaiah Finn)(Isaiah Finn)Downy Woodpecker. (Paige Plourde)Chickadee. (Paige Plourde)Winter purple finch. (Paige Plourde)Chipping sparrow. (Paige Plourde)A black capped chickadee waits for its turn in the snack bar which has become as crowded as the snowflakes. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)Private quarters for Mr. Goldfinch. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)Fluffy goldfinch. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)Does anyone have some goggles? (Photo by Jane Naliboff)Dark eyed junco. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)A red-bellied woodpecker added some much needed color, albeit briefly, to the white landscape. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)Up close with red-bellied woodpecker. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)Seriously? Holiday lights and now this? With practice, he figured out the peck and duck move. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)A dark eyed junco puffed and fluffed to keep warm in the recent frigid days and snow. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)A tufted titmouse takes a strand of straw from the roosting pocket, perhaps to add to its nest. (Photo by Jane Naliboff)A woodpecker. (Photo by Karen Dalot)A yellow finch eating. (Photo by Karen Dalot)Hey it is cold on my feet. (Photo by Karen Dalot)A chickadee. (Photo by Karen Dalot)last_img read more

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Child falls from Sugarloaf Mountain chairlift

first_imgCARRABASSETT VALLEY – A child fell approximately 20 feet from a chairlift at Sugarloaf Wednesday afternoon; the 8-year-old girl was transported to Franklin Memorial Hospital where she was then LifeFlighted to Eastern Maine Medical Center. The event occurred around 1 p.m.Sugarloaf Communications Manager Noelle Tuttle said the girl was loading at the mid-station lift with her mother and apparently didn’t get completely on the chair before heading up the mountain.“We’re not sure exactly what happened, but the chairlift operator noticed they were struggling and was able to turn off the lift,” Tuttle said.The employee was then able to place a “catch net” beneath the girl. Tuttle said the girl reported some back pain, but was otherwise apparently uninjured. When paramedics arrived on the scene, however, they realized the girl had a pre-existing medical condition that raised concern and made the decision to call Life Flight.The girl, who lives in Maine, was reportedly wearing a helmet.An investigation into the incident by the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol is ongoing.last_img read more

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Members Of The Meters, Dumpstaphunk To Play ‘Foundation of Funk’ Jazz Fest Late Night

first_imgTalk about a superjam! The Godfathers of Funk will be joining forces during Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 23rd to bring a jam-packed late night rager to the House of Blues. Hailing from some of the most legendary funk acts in the game, Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk) and Tony Hall (Dumpstaphunk) are ready to lay down the Foundation of Funk. Tickets are available here.When talking about New Orleans funk legends, it’s impossible to not bring up The Meters. The OG funk band’s legacy is undeniable, having pioneered the genre with classics such as “Cissy Strut” and “Fire On The Bayou”. Founding Meters members Modeliste and Porter will be joined by Ivan Neville, the nephew of original Meters member Art Neville. The musical legacy in this lineup is powerful, to say the least.Ivan Neville Discusses Chris Robinson Supergroup At Fool’s Paradise On Jam ONNeville will be joined by Dumpstaphunk bandmate Tony Hall, one of the baddest bassists in the game. When these two join forces on stage, it’s simply explosive.Get down with the funkiest, most legendary bunch of musicians to emerge from the Big Easy on Saturday, April 23rd at the House of Blues. Get tickets here.Enter to win tickets:last_img read more

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President Obama Reacts To Prince’s Death

first_imgPresident Barack Obama has never hid his love for music. Whether he’s the keynote speaker at SXSW, having Derek Trucks play at the White House, or talking about catching Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf, he’s proved time and time again he’s a patron of the musical arts. Sufficed to say, we weren’t surprised when the had some beautiful words to say about Prince. Here’s the official statement he released via his Facebook Page yesterday:Today, the world lost a creative icon. Michelle and I join millions of fans from around the world in mourning the sudden death of Prince. Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.“A strong spirit transcends rules,” Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his band, and all who loved him.last_img read more

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Widespread Panic Brings The Heat For Night Two In Chicago [Review/Gallery]

first_imgLoad remaining images The second night of Widespread Panic’s sold out, three night run at the Chicago Theatre continued exactly where they left off from Thursday night. Last night was an absolute party, with the band getting extra funky for all those that made it on the beautiful Chicago evening.What the first set didn’t have in segues it made up for in maximum rock and roll. The show opened with an energetic “Wondering.” Keyboardist JoJo Hermann took the vocals on the next song, “Blackout Blues,” that saw the set’s only segue into “Pigeons.” The next song, “One Arm Steve” is always a welcome addition to any set.The band then slowed things down with “Expiration Day,” which provided a slowed down moment to give everyone a breather before raging the rest of the set. “Holden Oversoul” was blazing, with a piercing organ solo from Hermann. The chemistry between members was palpable. As Hermann was letting it rip, guitarist Jimmy Herring subtly added to guitar licks without taking the spotlight away from the keys. And next to him, guitarist John Bell was nimbly plucking away at his own guitar. “Love Tractor” got everyone stomping along with the beat before the set ended.The second set continued the party. They opened with “Tail Dragger,” and a vampire vixen was on the screen to give things a darker tone. Later on in the set “Barstools and Dreamers” was a lot of fun, especially with a “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Self)” jam/rap that was very cool. One of the best segments of the night followed, with a “Goin’ Out West” segueing into “Shut Up and Drive” with a whole lot of drums and bass in between. The two separate jams featuring Dave Schools and percussionists Sunny Ortiz and Duane Trucks were amazing.After an fantastic second set, they encored with “Nobody’s Loss” and then “Mr. Soul.” With night two in the books, there remains one last show for Spreadheads. The show tonight will be the tour closer. Bring it on Panic.Check out the setlist from the show below, courtesy of PanicStream:Setlist: Widespread Panic at Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL – 5/6/16Set 1: Wondering, Blackout Blues > Pigeons, Her Dance Needs No Body, One Arm Steve, Use Me, Steven’s Cat, Expiration Day, Holden Oversoul > Love TractorSet 2: Tail Dragger, Don’t Be Denied, Tickle The Truth, Bowlegged Woman > You Got Yours, Barstools and Dreamers, Goin’ Out West > Drums & Bass > Drums > Drums & Bass > Shut Up and Drive, Bear’s Gone Fishin’ > Bust It Big, Sell SellEncore: Nobody’s Loss, Mr SoulCheck out a full gallery of images below, courtesy of Ojeda Photography:last_img read more

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Officials Confirm Prince’s Cause Of Death As An Opioid Overdose

first_imgOn April 21st, beloved R&B sensation Prince lost his life at the age of 57. While there has been much speculation about a drug overdose in the days since his death, fans have been holding out for an official analysis from an autopsy report.Today, that news came in the form of an official report to the Associated Press, where a law enforcement official working the case has confirmed the cause of death was indeed an opioid overdose. As of now, it remains unclear what the opioids were treating, as two doctors have been investigated in connection with Prince’s death.One was Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who treated Prince twice in the weeks before his death. He prescribed medications for the singer, but the names of those medications remain undisclosed. The second was Dr. Howard Kornfield, an addiction specialist who was brought in on April 20th to help Prince. Unfortunately, despite trying to ease the symptoms of withdrawals, the opioid overdose proved fatal to the Purple One.Regardless of how he died, Prince will always be remembered for his true devotion to crafting and performing music. RIP Prince.last_img read more

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Drive-By Truckers Announce 11th Studio Album With Rocking Single ‘Surrender Under Protest’

first_imgAthens, GA favorites Drive-By Truckers have announced that their 11th studio album, fittingly titled American Band, will be released via ATO Records on September 30, 2016. In a message posted to the band’s website, the group’s front man Patterson Hood explains the topical nature of the American Band‘s themes, in the midst of the “crazy times” that we live in, and the group’s mindset when creating the album:“We’ve always considered ourselves a political band, even when that aspect seemed to be concealed by some type of narrative device i.e. dealing with issues of race by telling a story set in the time of George Wallace or class struggles by setting “Putting People of the Moon” in the age of Reagan.This time out, there are no such diversions as these songs are mostly set front and center in the current political arena with songs dealing with our racial and cultural divisions, gun violence, mass shootings and political assholery. Once again, there is a nearly even split between the songs of Cooley and myself, with both of us bringing in songs that seem to almost imply a conversation between us about our current place in time.American Band is a sort of rock and roll call to arms as well as a musical reset button for our band and the country we live in. Most of all, we look at it as the beginnings of some conversations that we, as a people very much need to begin having if we ever hope to break through the divisions that are threatening to tear us apart. Drive-By Truckers are celebrating our twentieth anniversary as a band in an election year where some people are trying to define what it is to be American. Definitions based on some outdated ideology of prejudice and fear. We are loudly proclaiming that those people don’t speak for us. America is and always has been a land of immigrants and ideals. Ideals that we have often fallen short of achieving, but it’s the striving that has given us whatever claims to greatness we have had. That’s what America means to us and “We’re an American Band’.”The band also released a stream of “Surrender Under Protest” off the upcoming album. As Hood says in the message, “‘Surrender Under Protest’ is a Mike Cooley composition that is unlike any DBT song we’ve ever recorded, yet somehow sounds unmistakably like us. In a way, that’s pretty indicative of the album as a whole.” Listen to the new song below:A pre-order period is now underway. Check here for more details.last_img read more

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Fruition Welcomes Jason Hann, Larry Keel & More At Ogden Theatre Debut

first_imgFor their debut at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO, it is safe to say that Fruition held nothing back and pulled together a truly magical night of music. Though the premiere jamgrass band has passed through Colorado in recent months, playing Red Rocks and a handful of festivals around the state, Friday’s performance was their first time back in the city of Denver since January. Clearly, Coloradans needed their Fruition fix, as the band’s first time playing the large venue, supported by the Larry Keel Experience, had their largest presale numbers to date. And, Fruition made sure to make a night of it for the eager fans who have waited patiently for their return. During the span of their two sets, the band welcomed six friends—Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident, Bevin Foley of Trout Steak Revival, Brad Parsons, Andy Hall of the Infamous Stringdusters, Larry Keel, and Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon—to share the stage with them to create a night of music that was truly a privilege to witness.To start off the evening, the Larry Keel Experience, played some good ol’ fashioned bluegrass. Together, Larry Keel, the world-renowned flatpicker, Jenny Keel (bass), Jared Pool (mandolin), and special guest Andy Thorn (banjo) from Leftover Salmon set the tone of the evening with an energetic set that proved why the band is billed as an experience. To give the crowd a teaser of what to expect during the rest of the night, Larry welcomed Mimi Naja of Fruition to the stage for a cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” followed by a cover of The Band’s “Ophelia,” ending their set to explosive applause.Keeping on with the energy that the Larry Keel Experience had built during its set, Fruition did not waste any time once they got on stage. The band kicked off their night with “Labor of Love,” the title track of their latest album, which was released in April of this year. Mimi Naja started off the next song, “The Wanter,” on vocals and mandolin before the rest of the band dropped in for the song. Before moving into the next track, the band took a moment to bring up the house lights and look over the packed crowd. In contrast to the previous two energetic songs that opened the set, the band slowed things down with “I Can’t Stop,” a powerful ballad during which particularly Kellen Asebroek shone on the keys. “I Can’t Stop” transitioned directly into “I Don’t Mind,” a blues-rock anthem off their latest album, which featured a standout bassline by Jeff Leonard, soulful vocals by Mimi Naja, and impressive solos from Kellen Asebroek on keys and Jay Cobb Anderson on guitar, and which terminated with a section of a capalla harmonies that elicited a huge response from the crowd.For their first guest of the night, Fruition welcomed Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident, EOTO) to sit-in on “The Way That I Do.” Everyone on stage was all smiles as they moved through the upbeat love song, and Jason’s outstanding soloing on the djembe only amplified the feeling that the night was going to be something special. After Jason left the stage, Kellen Asebroek returned to the guitar and sang a powerful rendition of “Blue Light.” Jay Cobb Anderson introduced the next song as “a song for the mountain folk” before the band moved into crowd-favorite “Mountain Annie.” For the final chorus of “Mountain Annie”, the band held back, letting the audience sing the chorus, and the members on stage looked visibly moved by the crowd’s enthusiastic response.Bevin Foley of Trout Steak Revival accompanied the band for the next song, “Beside You,” and her violin part perfectly complimented the mourning tone of the soulful ballad. Following “Beside You,” Fruition invited singer and guitarist Brad Parsons to join Bevin as a guest on stage. The band covered Brad’s newly released track, “Montana,” which featured impressive solos from Bevin Foley and Mimi Naja, and introduced those unacquainted in the crowd to the powerhouse of a voice that is Brad Parsons. Watch Brad Parsons’ “Montana” with Fruition, courtesy of Tory Pittarelli of the Mischief Collective.Bevin Foley left the stage before Brad Parsons, again, showcased his jaw-dropping vocals on the next song, “Stay Close.” The punctuated instrumentation within the song enhanced the vocals and highlighted the impressive solos from Mimi, Jay, and Kellen. At the close of the song, Brad Parsons exited the stage, and Fruition welcomed yet another guest, Andy Hall from the Infamous Stringdusters, on stage to throw down on the dobro for the final heartfelt song of the set. During “Highway 1,” Andy Hall took center stage as he exchanged call-and-response solos with Jay Cobb Anderson and Mimi Naja. The band brought the song down to a moment of haunting vocal harmonies before bringing the energy levels back up to close out the first set.For the second set, the band opened with “There She Was,” with Mimi on electric guitar, and both Mimi and Jay showed off with some shreddy guitar solos before Kellen worked in a tease of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music on keys. This was followed by “Santa Fe,” another favorite off of the band’s recent release, into “Never Again,” which opened with a quick drum break a la Tyler Thompson before moving into the energetic bluegrass song. The band slowed it down for the beautiful and moving “Come On, Get In,” which moved into “Just One of Them Nights.” Next, the band brought up the energy of the crowd with some rock and roll with “Lay Down Blues,” which featured frenetic and masterly soloing by Jay.Fruition kept the guests coming, bringing out Larry Keel on guitar halfway through the second set. This was a particularly beautiful thing to witness, as the band members noted that they have long looked up to Larry as an inspiration, and it was apparent how jazzed and grateful they were to bring him out. With Larry Keel, the band first played the slower and almost airy “Early Morning Wake Up,” which sped up into “Fire.” During “Fire,” an old-school guitar duel erupted as Jay and Larry took power stances and showed off their mindblowing skills, eliciting hoots and hollers from the crowd. As Jay and Larry took turns kneeling on stage and shredding, the other band members stepped back and looked as in awe as those in the crowd.“Fire” moved into Neil Young’s “Ohio,” during which every person in the crowded theater was feeling the music, even the security guards by the front of the stage who were bobbing their heads along and grinning. “Ohio” moved back into “Fire” to bring a climactic end to Larry Keel’s cameo with the band. After Larry scampered off stage, the band looked almost in a state of shock, with Kellen asking “What just happened?” and Mimi instructing the crowd to raise their glasses and leading a cheers to the historic moment that had just occurred.Mimi had one of her strongest vocal showings of the night during “I Should Be,” and she mesmerized the audience with her ability to imbue a huge amount of emotion with her soulful vocal stylings during the slower rock ballad. As if the Larry Keel sit-in wasn’t enough, following “I Should Be,” the band welcomed to the stage Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon on banjo. For “Daddy Lessons,” a cover from Beyonce’s Lemonade, which featured Mimi, a noted Beyonce enthusiast, on vocals. The choice of a pop-song cover featuring Andy Thorn echoes Leftover Salmon New Year’s set last year in Portland, OR at the Roseland Ballroom, during which Mimi sat in with Leftover to sing Adele’s “Hello.” Following “Daddy Lessons,” after a few minutes of confusion, Jason Hann was properly located and welcomed back on stage to join Andy Thorn and the band in the Talking Heads’ “Nothing But Flowers.” This was a particularly joyous moment of the night, not only because of the happy-go-lucky nature of the song but also because of how everyone on stage was clearly having a ball trading off solos and playing together. Jason Hann exited the stage, leaving Andy Thorn and Fruition on stage for the next song. Jay, before moving into “Falling on my Face,” noted that the song is not a traditional banjo song but that he was stoked to have Andy Thorn play on it. Andy Thorn’s banjo playing was a perfect complement to “Falling on my Face,” as the banjo cascading above the heavier rock song and filled out the sound beautifully.Andy Thorn exited the stage, and the band welcomed Brad Parsons back again to sing the cheery “Somehow, Some Way, Some Day.” Brad Parsons’ vocals took the song to the next level, and again, the euphoria of the musicians was contagious as Brad Parsons and Kellen Asebroek bounced around the stage grinning. The five members of Fruition closed out the second set with a truly beautiful and moving version of “The Meaning.” As the crowd sang out the line “Life’s for the living,” Kellen laughed, clearly caught off guard to some extent by the crowd’s response. The song was a perfect cap for the set, and the packed theater went wild at its conclusion.Watch Fruition’s “Somehow, Some Way, Some Day” with Brad Parsons, courtesy of Tory Pittarelli at the Mischief Collective.For the encore, Fruition played the Beatles’ “I Got A Feeling,” during which Mimi and Jay switched off vocals and, at points, shared the same mic. For the last song of the night, Jay noted that they “had to play their Colorado song” before the band moved into an a capella harmony that kicked off “Meet Me on the Mountain.” Mimi and Jay both used the song as a time to get up close and personal with the pit, taking a knee at the front of the stage during their solos. The song closed with the house lights being brought up, and the crowd singing the chorus a capella, solidifying the night as a truly magical one.It’s easy to understand why Fruition’s fan base has grown so quickly over the years and is so dedicated to the band, as anyone who gets a chance to see them falls in love with their eclectic mix of musical stylings and heartfelt and playful stage presence. To the people that I spoke to during and after the show, many noted that Fruition has an ability to evoke such a range of sincere emotions in those listening, and Friday’s show at the Ogden was certainly no different. If you have the chance, do yourself a favor and check out Fruition during their upcoming tour dates, which are listed below and on the band’s website.All photos appear courtesy of Rios Photography.Listen to the whole show below, courtesy of Terry Lapointe:Setlist: Fruition at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO – 10/21/16Set I: Labor of Love, The Wanter, I Can’t Stop, I Don’t Mind, The Way That I Do [1], Blue Light, Mountain Annie, Beside You [2], Montana* [2, 3], Stay Close [3], Highway 1 [4]Set II: There She Was, Santa Fe, Never Again, Come On, Get In, Just One of Them Nights, Lay Down Blues, Early Morning Wake Up [5], Fire > Ohio > Fire [5], I Should Be, Daddy Lessons** [6], Nothing But Flowers*** [1, 6], Falling on my Face [6], Somehow [7], The MeaningEncore: I Got A Feeling****, Meet Me on the Mountain[1] Jason Hann on percussion[2] Bevin Foley on violin[3] Brad Parsons on guitar and vocals[4] Andy Hall on dobro[5] Larry Keel on guitar[6] Andy Thorn on banjo[7] Brad Parsons on vocals*Brad Parsons original**Beyonce cover***Talking Heads cover****Beatles coverFruition Upcoming Tour DatesOctober 22 – Aspen, CO – The Belly UpOctober 27 – Live Oak, FL – Suwanee HulaweenNovember 4 – Atlanta, GA – Variety PlayhouseNovember 5 – Athens, GA – Georgia TheatreNovember 6 – Jackson, MS – Duling HallNovember 9 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity TheatreNovember 10 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec TheatreNovember 11 – Houston, TX – House of BluesNovember 12 – Austin, TX – Emo’sDecember 29 – Portland, OR – The Wonder BallroomDecember 30 – Portland, OR – The Wonder BallroomDecember 31 – Portland, OR – The Wonder Ballroom Load remaining images Photo: Andrew Rioslast_img read more

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